Health pass apps must be associated with public health authorities

Apple informed developers of the requirements today.

What you need to know

  • Apple has provided some guidance on submitting health pass apps.
  • The company says that health pass apps “must be submitted by developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities.”

In a news release on its developer website, Apple has informed developers that apps that generate health passes must be submitted by developers who work with companies that are approved by public health authorities.

The company says that it has experienced a rise in these kinds of apps as COVID-19 vaccinations increase. Developers are attempting to create health passes that users can display to indicate they have been tested or vaccinated for COVID-19.

Apple has listed the following approved entities as examples:

  • Test kit manufacturers
  • Laboratories
  • Healthcare providers

As it did with COVID-19 apps, Apple will also continue to accept apps from governments, medical companies, and “other credentialed institutions.”

With the recent release of COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve seen an increase in apps that generate health passes used to enter buildings and access in-person services based on testing and vaccination records. To ensure these apps responsibly handle sensitive data and provide reliable functionality, they must be submitted by developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities, such as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, or healthcare providers. As with other apps related to COVID-19, we also accept apps submitted directly by government, medical, and other credentialed institutions.

Apple’s effort in the fight against COVID-19 has recently borne some fruit. A recent report from the BBC indicated that the NHS COVID-19 app, which uses Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification technology, helped prevent as many as 600,000 infections.

The NHS Covid-19 app has told 1.7 million people in England and Wales to self-isolate to date. Health ministers have also revealed they believe it has prevented about 600,000 cases of the disease. In a further disclosure, internal data indicates that about 16.5 million people are currently actively using its contact-tracing tool. That figure is 24% below the app’s latest download tally, which is the government’s preferred measure.

Developers can learn more about submitting apps that are related to COVID-19 on the Apple Developer website.

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